Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Get Schnitfaced

The other night we were walking along in the fashionable hub that is Manuka in Canberra when we happened upon a blackboard outside a pub declaring 'GET SCHNITFACED $10'. Being eternally curious and unable to pass up a bargain we went back tonight follow up on this intriguing offer. First we went and saw Bridge to Terabithia and had a good cry - I was most impressed by the very realistic children that came across as annoyingly, maddeningly brat-like.

Anyway back to the Schnitzel experience - the deal was you could choose between a schnitzel or a rump steak + salad + a schooner of beer. We were keen before we even knew about the beer so when we paid up and got little red beer tickets we were most impressed. The quality of the meal was what you'd expect for ten bucks - bland with wilted salad and crunchy potato salad. The beer was crisp and cold and made up for the boringness of the food. Ted chose the rump and got to cook it himself on the grill, surrounded by a small group of pub patrons huddled around it's radiant warmth - they kept a running commentary on the progress of the steak cooking and made sure Ted didn't burn it...ahh Winter in Canberra....

Monday, June 25, 2007

night tree

, originally uploaded by Kate&Ted.

foggy night

, originally uploaded by Kate&Ted.

As I was driving home tonight I was fascinated by the foggy nightscape I was experiencing. All the street lights created these golden pools of soft light, there was an amazing organge glow in the sky over our house. The misty fog - something I haven't seen the like of in years - created this beautiful diffused light, like a Clarice Beckett night scene. I went outside and took a bunch of photos from my front door step getting some great tree silhouettes in this lovely light.

Shopping for curtains in Spotlight

Is it universal? Do you have to wait until judgement day to be served in any Spotlight store - or is it just the case with my local? It wasn't exactly crowded at 8pm tonight, in fact we were next in line when we lined up - it still took a good 15 minutes to get to the counter - plenty of time to ponder the attractions of discounted polyester fur and numerous mysterious of kreative kraft items.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Rad '80s posters

I went along to an opening at Megalo tonight curated by a mate of mine as part of his museum studies course. Megalo is a printmaking workshop in Canberra that got started by some young arty types in the '80s. They started off in a room at Ainslie Village using an old kitchen exhaust fan to extract fumes created by their screenprinting projects. Megalo has matured since then into a Canberra institution - still a starving arts organisation, but with more room, equipment and regular government funding. Joel and his collaborator Ange have selected 40 fab screenprinted posters made in the '80s. They address environmental concerns, political issues, nuclear protest posters etc. The show is a great little snapshot of a political and social moment in Canberra's history.

It was fascinating for me to be reminded of images I was surrounded by as a high school student. It was great to see a poster for the Bitumen river gallery - the first place I encountered contemporary art as a teenager and to see a poster listing George Washingmachine and the Dead Wringers headlining a local gig. There is a great raw energy in these images - it has that '80s protest punk kinda feel - and interesting to see how many of the same issues we are still grappling with twenty years later.

Anyone in Canberra check it out - it runs until 30 June.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Geelong building

Geelong building, originally uploaded by Kate&Ted.

I was in Geelong for work the week before last. I have a job that takes me to all sorts of random places and has it's pros and cons. On the negative side I am getting sadly familiar with those nasty synthetic fluffy beige blankets you only seem to find in hotels and motels of a certain quality. The positives include getting to see places I would otherwise never have a reason to visit, getting out of the office, and getting the odd quiet night in a hotel where I can do nothing but curl up in bed and read a book. Tho' I do feel concerned about the carbon debt I must be racking up flying all over the place and am determined to investigate switching my house over to solar power and creating some more environmentally sustainable living habits.

The picture above is of the side of a building in central Geelong, I really love seeing a bit of colour and decoration in architecture - especially if it moves beyond the postmodern lego look. I particularly like the links this one has to wall paper patterns.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Pot latch extravaganza

Yesterday we hosted our third annual Potlatch party and had a ball. Sadly I have no photos so a description of the process will have to do. The term comes from a native American tradition - here's a blurb I've pinched from Wikipedia:

The potlatch was a cultural practice much studied by ethnographers. "Potlatch is a festive event within a regional exchange system among tribes of the North pacific Coast of North America, including the Salish and Kwakiutl of Washington and British Columbia." Sponsors of a potlatch give away many useful items such as food, blankets, worked ornamental mediums of exchange called "coppers", and many other various items. In return, they earned prestige. To give a potlatch enhanced one’s reputation and validated social rank, the rank and requisite potlatch being proportional, both for the host and for the recipients by the gifts exchanged. Prestige increased with the lavishness of the potlatch, the value of the goods given away in it.

In our mutated version people bring random clothes and small household items they would otherwise throw out or take to the op shop and dump them in a pile in our front room. Everyone goes through the pile of stuff and takes away bits and pieces they like. The rest of the stuff gets taken to the Salvos or Vinnies at the end of the day. It's a great way to recycle and have a party at the same time. This year's effort was a little smaller that previous year's but I managed to score a blue velvet jacket, some red cord trousers and multiple pairs of sunglasses while feeling virtuous that I was offloading more unnecessary stuff than I was gaining.